Monday, December 31, 2012

The end of the roughest year of my life.....hello 2013

Oh you know me, I'm the life of the party
Beautiful people surround me
Everybody falling in love
Oh you know me, everybody knows that I'm crazy
Sticks and stones, they never break me
And I'm the type that don't give a care
And that's just the half of it
You saw the half of it
Yeah this the life I live
And that's just the half of it
 
    Well, it certainly has not been my favorite year of my thirty years of life.  I can say with all my strength and being that I kept my head held high as often as I could and I did my best to make it through a very dark cloud of a year.  SO we are going to hit some highlights of the year in this post and then some of the darker days!!  I'm going to hit what i think was important!!
 
* Positive-  Shawn and I survived without killing each other!!LOL!!  Some may think that is a small feat but in reality it was not at all.  When your family dynamics are thrown into a tail spin it is hard to hold on to each other and learn to lean on each other.  We did and we are doing much better.  We had a few very rough spots and I was not sure we would survive, but we did.  I hope he knows how much he means to me...I am sure he does but in case he doesn't if you see him let him know how much I love him!!  :)  He does not read my blog!!
 
 
*Positive-   Braydon found strength in places I never thought he would.  He is a TRUE inspiration to me and I hope he never forgets that.                      
   

*Positive-  My family is still whole.  That is a huge deal!!  So many family's break up just because and we withstood a rough year. 


 
Sorry....But Damn I have a good looking family!!  ;)  You cant deny that!!LOL!!
 
Those are just a few of my positives.  There were many more, but those were the ones I wanted to share. 
 
 
My negative of the year was Braydon being diagnosed with Epilepsy.  I know to most of you it is no big deal, especially now that we have it so under control.  My heart Breaks every time he sees an airplane fly by and he says I will fly a plane one day.  I have explained and explained he wont but he wont give up on that dream.  Who knows maybe I'm the one who is wrong but at the end of the day no parent wants to see their child not be able to accomplish their dreams.  My heart breaks everyday at the things he will be told he cant do.  The mood swings from the meds, no sleepovers, the being made fun of....I mean the list goes on and on.....So for my 2013 goals....
 
 
*I will educate on Epilepsy on behalf of Braydon.  Education reduces ignorance on the subject which will help reduce the "making fun". 
* Properly prepare Braydon for the next years to come.  The Dr has told us the teenage years will be bad with hormones changing, his resistance to taking meds that make him feel funny, and the normal teenage years!!
*Remember that Claudia needs just as much attention.  I forgot that this year and I think she has been a little more difficult to deal with as a result. 
 
 
To be honest I'm afraid of what 2013 holds for us.  But I do know that no matter what i have the support of everyone.  You have all been my strength and I appreciate it more than you all will ever know!!
 
Wish us luck Braydon starts middle school this year!! LORDY  Middle School!!!
 Here are some pics from an "eventful" year!!




 
Happy New Year Everyone, May 2013 be everything you want it to be!!!



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Who does not thank for little will not thank for much

Things I am Thankful For
 
1.  My Children!!  Wow do I have two AMAZING children!!  Strong and sweet, I'm very thankful for my children!
 
 
Really, I just can't any better than this!!


2.  My Husband-  WOW, Shawn is so amazing!!  I've always said I'm the luckiest woman in the world and I still believe it.  We definitely have our ups and downs but we always have each other.  He makes me smile even when I want to punch him!!  He works his butt off to make sure that we have what we have and it may not be as much as others, but it was honestly earned with two working hands!! 


3.  My Family-  I love my family!!  I have two sisters who I am so blessed to have, I can call either one of them with a problem or issue and they always come to my rescue with nothing more than an opinion.  My mommy is always there for me and helps me when I need it.  My mom knows how hard Shawn and I work and is always there to help when we need it.  Thank you Mom and Albert for always being there when we need it.  My In laws moved closer to help us as well!!  I am SOOO thankful for them.  They are always going to school events when we cant.  My extended family I don't always get to talk to or see I love you guys sooo much!!  I miss EVERYONE SO MUCH!!!

4.  My Friends-  I always talk about how much I love my friends and I can promise you it hasn't changed!!!  Love you guys!!


5.  MY JOB!!!!!!!   Man do I love my job, it is my second family!!  I enjoy going to work (most Days lol) and they are so understanding of my crazy life!!  When your bosses are your family and close friends then you are a very lucky person.  I also get to work with my best friends everyday!! I have the best job!!



This year has been very very hard on my family, however we still have so much to be thankful for!!  It could have been much worse and I remind myself of that everyday.  Thanks again to everyone for constantly supporting us!!  I love you all!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

Today I need every one's help!!  Listen to my story, share my story and see what we can do!!
 
 
 
I was approached by a woman at work the other day.  She has a friend that I do not know who has a child with epilepsy, among other things.  The little girl was approaching two years old.  On Sunday the little passed away from complications of her many problems.  That in itself is so very sad.  Before this little girl passed away the Build a Bear corporation made her a special bear that was purple, the national color for Epilepsy. 
 
 
Pretty amazing!!  Well the mother of the child would like Build a Bear to make a special purple bear for the month of November.  National Epilepsy awareness month, however Build a Bear does not believe that there would be enough interest.  Sooooo I'm asking all of you in honor of National Epilepsy awareness month to send Build a Bear a letter explaining why you would purchase one of those bears.
 
 
 
 
I would LOVE to be a part of something so awesome and would love for everyone to help!!  I want a build a bear!! 
 
 
So if you can help me here is the address
 
Build a Bear Workshop
1954 Interbelt Buisness Center Dr.
St. Louis, MO 63114
 
Let's get Braydon his very own Epilepsy Bear!!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It's not something you learn in school. But if you haven't learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven't learned anything

Today was one of the scariest days of my life.  Today I could have lost a friend.  Not to a petty argument or over work, but to a car accident.  She managed to walk away after over correcting her truck, spinning in the middle of the road, flipping over a guard rail and having strangers help her by smashing in her windshield to get her out.  Things like this don't happen everyday.  Today was a miracle.  Today my best friend lived when every thing was against her, she walked away. 
 
 
This is no little thing, particularly to me.  This is a person who I'm sure even when she is ready to kill me is ALWAYS there for me.  She takes my kids to karate when I'm to sick to get off the couch.  She cleans my house when my life is pure chaos and I don't know which way to turn.  She takes my side when I'm upset with others and I'm sure I'm not always in the right. 
 
I'm one of few people that can say I have 3 best friends!!  Chelsie, Carlee, and Kelly!!   I love you all dearly and after today I want you all to know just how much!!  You are all my family!!  Please know that no matter what I will be there for all of you and today made me realize how quickly things can be taken away.  We are a team.....a crazy yell at each other and then be fine two seconds later, but a team non the less!! 
 
 
And to Chelsie....thanks for walking away from the accident today......you will never know how much you mean to me!!  Smile, know that you are loved by so many!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Butterfly Fly Away

Caterpillar in the tree, how you wonder who you'll be
can't go far but you can always dream
Wish you may and wish you might
Don't you worry, hold on tight.
I promise you there will come a day
Butterfly fly away
 

     Tomorrow my baby turns 11 and to be honest I have been so busy that I have not even really thought about it.  That is sad!!  I'm sad to think that I had to run out last minute tonight to order his cake for today!!  I'm now 100% focused on B, well at least until tomorrow at midnight!!! 


     We have been teasing him with his present!!! He cant wait to get it and I cant wait to give it to him!!!!

     The sleep study went well!!  Cant wait to get the results though!!  Ready to know what is going on at night!!  Poor kid his best night of sleep was strapped to wires and tubes!!!  We should know something in a few weeks. 

    Everyone sleep well tonight and if you see my B tomorrow tell him happy Birthday!  My baby is 11!!!!!



Saturday, October 6, 2012

If I were asked to define Motherhood. I would have defined it as Love in its purest form. Unconditional Love

 
 
 
 
     So Thursday night was Best of Clarksville for Little Country Schoolhouse.  For those that do not know that it is, it is a HUGE fundraiser for the March of Dimes.  We are some fundraisers over at the LCSH, so of course every year we participate!!.  Hundreds and Hundreds of businesses come out to promote why their business is the best.  Everyone gives away free things for you to take home and I got to spin the wheel of Fate and Lucky 13's hands of fate Tattoo shop.  I won $100 off a custom tattoo.  Sooooo since I have been thinking about getting one anyways on my day off yesterday I went and got it!!  YAY!!!   I actually got two!!!   The tattoo I had picked out was exactly $100 so this was literally fate!!   So here they are for the first time!!
 











 

 
Braydon was super happy to see them and I am glad he understands why I did it.  Hopefully this will not be a permanent part of his life and he will grow out of it but either way it will forever be a part of my life.  I will always advocate for Epilepsy!!
 
 


Monday, October 1, 2012

If you don't think every day is a good day, just try missing one



     Man I have some cute kids!!LOL!!!   SO next week is the sleep study!! We go in Monday night and do the sleep study.  He is actually excited, a night in a hotel!!! HECK YEAH!!  LOL!!!

                We have been seizure free for a while now and it feels good.  Don't worry I'm knocking on wood!!  Next month is Epilepsy awareness month.  As a family I am wanting to do something to recognize it and I really have no clue what to do!!  Any suggestions??  I'm going to get a purple ribbon and wear it everyday for the month of November but I really want B and I to do something that will make a difference.  What do you think?
 
 
 
     I have someone (very special) who is getting me my tattoo for Christmas so maybe I can do that next month.   Let me know if you have any ideas!!
 
                    Anyways just a short update and things are grand!!  I will update next week after the study!!
 
 
                        Thanks again to everyone who is always there for us!!!
 


Thursday, September 13, 2012

About Epilpesy By: Braydon Fowler Art By Claudia Fowler

Hi my name is Braydon.  I have Epilepsy.  You might not because you are different from me.  Epilepsy is not so fun.  You have to be very careful on your medicine, if you forget you will have a seizure.  When you are alone it is not safe.  When you swim there has to be a life guard. 
 
 
 
 
 
Child getting medicine
 
 
I hate epilepsy but it does not hurt me at all.  I'm going to have a sleep study on Veterans Day.  A seizure is caused by your brain.  Sometimes I am scared to tell someone that I have seizures.  But it wont hurt to tell a few people.  I did two people and it did not hurt.  Some people think it is weird like Lance and he made fun of me.  You might have seizures and if you do you should be proud because you are special.  Some say that I am lucky.  It does not matter if you have epilepsy like me we are all the same.
 
 
 
 
About my Book
It is about me and my epilepsy and how it can help you and how it cant. 
 


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward

    We saw Dr. Cuevas today!! YAY!!  Man have I missed that man!!  We went over a lot of things and hopefully we are getting some answers.

   Things we went over and discussed
 
     1) ATTITUDE-  Okay I understand he is almost 11 and we are going to have these hormonal rages that make me want to murder my own child, however I am not convinced that this is hormones.  The way I explained the rages and depression the Dr said it was classic medicine.  Here is the list of possible side effects of his current medication  :
 


drowsiness
  • weakness
  • unsteady walking
  • coordination problems
  • headache
  • pain
  • forgetfulness
  • anxiety
  • agitation or hostility
  • dizziness
  • moodiness
  • nervousness
  • numbness, burning, or tingling in the hands or feet
  • loss of appetite
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • changes in skin color
  • Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

    • depression
    • hallucinating (hearing voices or seeing visions that do not exist)
    • thoughts of killing yourself
    • seizures that are worse or different than the seizures you had before
    • fever, sore throat, and other signs of infection
    • double vision
    • itching
    • rash
    • swelling of the face

    As you can tell, this med is NO JOKE!!  So we discussed the options of changing his meds, however anything else that he takes has the potential to "attack: his kidney and Liver and would require blood test every 6-8 weeks.  So changing meds is not a decision to come to lightly.  We have decided to wait until we do a little more testing.
     
     
         2)  His falling out of bed and other night time issues!!  Could be seizures could be Sleep apnea.  The Dr. asked Braydon a series of questions that leads him to believe that Braydon has sleep apnea.  Which could be increasing the horrible mood (our reasoning to NOT jump into changing meds).  Some incidents that have occurred at night are with out a doubt seizure related, the other is classic sleep apnea.  Claudia has mild obstructive sleep apnea(so mild that at this time we are not treating it, however if it affects her later down the road they will take out her tonsils) and although sleep apnea itself is not hereditary the facial and internal characteristics i.e tonsils and adenoids are very hereditary.   So after a through exam they discover some large tonsils and adenoids......so if lack of sleep causes seizures and he has sleep apnea we may have found.  Don't hold your breath that will not "cure" his seizures however it could help them....so YAY!!  Downside we could be looking at having to have his tonsils and adenoids removed and at his age that would be HORRIBLE!!!  However we are willing to do what we have to do!! 
     
         3)  From a neurological stand point Braydon is doing MUCH better than the first time Dr. Cuevas saw him.  Apparently for up to a week or two neurologically can put you in a cloud.  Causing slower responses and other nero things.  So the Dr said he looked MUCH better than our first visit!!  YAY!!!
     
         4) The "bummer" news and it is not even about Braydon!!  Dr. Cuevas received an AMAZING job offer at another amazing hospital and will be leaving us Mid October, I am so sad!!   We are going to do the sleep study and follow up hopefully before he leaves so we can see one last time.   
     
     
    I feel great after this appointment, I feel like for the first time since the seizure we are moving forward and not backwards. 
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Have a great night everyone!!
     
     
    

    


    Tuesday, September 4, 2012

    Settle down, it'll all be clear Don't pay no mind to the demons They fill you with fear The trouble it might drag you down If you get lost, you can always be found

    Just know you’re not alone
    Cause I’m going to make this place your home
     
         Wow!!  These past few months have been very rough for me emotionally.  I feel like I'm finally getting back to myself.  Not that this is ANYONE'S business but I will say this I have decided to start seeing someone for my "demons" that I can't let go of.  You might ask why I'm telling the world and it is because I'm having issue with the fact that I need to talk to someone and I know with every one's support I can do it.
     
         The past month has been especially miserable.  My marriage to my best friend has taken the worst hit.  You know I hear on a daily basis how perfect Shawn and I are together and as true as that is the past few months have been hell on our marriage!!  Neither one of us sleeps any more, we are constantly at each others throats, and everyday I think of a new creative way to make him miserable!!LOL!! 
     
          I'm not too worried about it, at the end of the day we both love each other like crazy and we WILL work it out.  So in case any of you man stealer's get any ideas out there he is still off limits!!LOL!!  At the end of the day Love is all you need and I know this is a temporary thing and we do love each other and things will work out.  I'm just trying to be "real" with my current situation. 
     
     
        I got a phone call from Vanderbilt today and we had an appointment scheduled for September 14th and apparently the Dr that was going to see him reviewed his file and called his normal neurologist they decided it was not in Braydon's best interest to be seen by anyone other than HIS Neurologist.  So I thought for sure they would tell me October or something equally asinine, but they surprised me with this Thursday at 11:30am.  I'm so excited however last time I got excited to see his Dr.  they called me that morning and cancelled, so I will hold my breath until we actually see the Dr.  This is his first time seeing the Dr since his initial diagnosis!!  WHEW, I'm ready!!
     
         So the title to this post is a new Song by Phillip Phillips called home and I'm going to break down what it means to me....
     
     
     
    Settle down, it'll all be clear  -Just wait and the answers will come, and if you need help find it!!
    Don't pay no mind to the demons  -Know that everything will be ok, and when I have the thoughts that they wont, ignore them!!  Everyone has their inner Demons.
    They fill you with fear  -Don't let it fill you with fear
    The trouble it might drag you down -Which is what I have allowed my life to be, drug down!!
    If you get lost, you can always be found -I'm in the process of being found!! 
    Just know you’re not alone-My friends and family will never leave me alone, and I just need to remember that
    Cause I’m going to make this place your home-
    It will be better
     
     
          So homework for all you out there!!!  If your struggling with your "inner demons" how do you fix them?  Is it a quick snap out of it?  Do you need to go talk to someone?  Can you find a song that you relate to and it helps snap you out?  
     
     
         I wish everyone out there the best of luck and I know this is just a temporary bump in my life and I thank all of you for always being there for me!!  As much as I would LOVE to throw myself a complete pitty party the reality of the situation is my problems are small in the grand scheme of things.  As much as Epilepsy has messed up our lives at the end of the day it has not destroyed it.  Luckily our peices can be put back together when so many families are just destroyed.  Im lucky, I have a husband who loves me, two amazing children, and the best support system ANYONE could ask for.  Im thankful that I have the means to talk to someone about my problems and husband who wont give up on us.  I will keep you guys updated on Braydon's progress and Mine!!!  Wish us luck!!

    Sunday, August 12, 2012

    Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.








    1st Day of School!!  2012




    So we survived a crazy week and the first day of school and to make it that much better as of yet I have not had to serve a single day for Jury Duty!! WHOOP WHOOP


         My babies are growing up so fast!!  Poor Braydon has kind of grown up with us!!  We weren't exactly "ready" for a kid when we had him.  So this post will be a bit of a letter to each kid.  Maybe one day I will even let them read it!!


         Braydon,

               You are the strongest most amazing child I have ever met.  You will never understand how truly special to me you are.  You came into our lives when we least expected it and you have been nothing but a blessing since that day.  My wish for you it to one day fly a plane like your heart wants.  Although rules and regulations seem to say you may never do that, I know in my heart you will.  You are an amazing kid and I cant imagine to many people telling you no!!  Your like your mother, you get what you want!!
                My only bit of advice is to always chase down and never give up on the things that make you happy, Epilepsy is a disability but it does not define you!!  ALWAYS remember that!!  Never not do something because of your disability.....push through and find a way.....never make excuses!!!   You are a fighter and I NEVER want to see you give up!!!  I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!



         Claudia,


                Oh my precious little girl!!  You make everyday an adventure!!  You put the biggest smile on my face all the time.  You have become my best friend and I love you so very much.  You light up every room you walk in and every eye is always on you.  I cant wait to see what life will bring you.  My only hope is that it is as good to you as it has been to me. 
                   I know your hope is to one day be famous and just like I told your brother never say no.  Never let anyone say you cant, because I know you can.    You are an amazing kid....and I cant wait for you to shine!!









         My family is the most important thing in the world......and I hope that everyone that reads that feels as lucky as I do in this very moment!!  If you are not happy with your life, change it.  You are the keeper of your own destiny, you are the only one who can fix it.  That my friends is my advice for the day!!
          

    Saturday, July 28, 2012

    He is Home!! Life is all about having a good time.

    YAY!!! 


         Braydon made it home safe and sound and FULL of stories!!  There are a few I'm going to share with everyone!!   The first story I heard was about Braydon's camp counselor dropping the F bomb!!LOL!!  Of course that was the first story to hear!!   He said he dropped something dropped the F Bomb and then started panicking saying I meant to say oh freak!!  Too funny!!!!  Here is the F bomb dropping counselor and Braydon!!

    Braydon has no clue what his name is.....which is Classic Braydon!!!


          Now his friend Ben!!  When i was tearing up and Braydon was tearing up as I left him there the little boy to walk over to him and introduce himself was Ben.  Ben and B were fast friends and Braydon has checked his email several times since being home to see if he has heard from Ben.  Hopefully he gets an email.  This was Ben's second year!  He was able to show Braydon the ropes and Ben will never know how much I appreciate it.  I got to meet Ben's mom at pickup and tell her how special her son truly is!!
    Braydon and Ben Camp Carpe Diem 2012


          He loved the Paddle boats, fishing, climbing the rock wall and I was told he was a hell of a shot in Archery.  He brought home a small picture of a bear and it had a hole right through the heart.  Three different counselors stopped me to tell me he was a natural shot, guess he gets that from his dad!!  I heard about counselor names "pretty Girl", "Skittles", and a boy named Christmas.  He had the time of his life!!


          We also got suggested to a company in Atlanta that trains service dogs to include seizure dogs.  Braydon met Buttons a seizure service dog and apparently they hit it off.  We are in the process of filling out the paperwork but the process to get a service dog takes years.  So who know maybe one day we will have our own "buttons". 


    Claudia and Buttons

    
    
         Everything went amazing and shockingly I cannot wait until next year either!!  Now I know he loves it and is having fun and the stress of him being miserable is gone!!  Be on the look out for more pictures!!  Braydon had two disposable cameras at camp and we are getting the developed today!!

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    Day 2: Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened

         Doing a great job of staying busy!!  Only a few more days until I can pick him up!!  My thoughts are constantly filled with questions of his day!!  What is he doing?  Is he crying?  Is he happy?

         On the plus side Ive decided I want a new tattoo.  All my current tattoos have a meaning.


        1st Tattoo- I have a heart with wings on my upper right back shoulder.  I got it a few months after deciding to leave my dad to be with Shawn.  Dad wanted me to move to FL and I refused to go!!  I did not want to leave my family especially Shawn!!

        2nd Tattoo- A Charm anklet around my left ankle.  The charm that dangles is the kids initials.  It needs some work, it was not the best one Ive ever gotten!!  However I did it for my babies!!

         3rd Tattoo-  A Large Dragonfly on my top right foot.  My mother in law wanted all the women in Shawn's family to have it, sisters, wives, daughters!!  I was so proud the day the pattern was given to me!!

         4th Tattoo- The Chinese symbol for eternity.  Shawn has the symbol for life on his back......and wanted our lives to be eternity!!  It is on my left foot. 



         The past few months of my life have been a roller coaster!!  I wants something to remind me every time I look at it that all this craziness is for a bigger cause!!  I know that Epilepsy was placed in our life for a reason!!  Just not sure what that reason is yet!!   Here is a pic of what I want......


    I do not want the letters, it would just be the butterfly in purple.  What are your thoughts??  Do you like it?? 
    

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    Day 1: Tears are words that need to be written.

         Things went better than I expected yesterday!  Don't get me wrong, I cried yesterday.....several times!!  However it was not as bad as I thought it was going to be!!


         After checking out of the hotel we went to Lego Land.....that of course was a must!!  AT lego land I realize I don't have his meds and we have to go all the way back to the hotel to pick up his meds and then back to camp.   Bless him, he was one of the last to arrive!!  It was my fault, but we weren't late, you had between 3 & 4 to drop off, we were just closer to 4!!  Here is a picture of him and I at Lego Land!!

    He looks thrilled huh!!

       So once we got to camp the craziness began!!  It seemed like we were only there a minute before we had to leave him however it was more like an hour.  We had to register him, go through a medical inspection (which included a lice check, which was both comforting and disturbing at the same time), speak with the nurses about medication dispensing, and finally speak with the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia about picture and video rights. 
                                               Here is Braydon during registration!!   He has the "deer in a head light" look.


    Then we were introduced to a handsome young camp counselor who whisked us away to Braydon's home away from home for the next week!!  I was tearing up at this point and starting to lose it!!  When I was telling him my good bye's the tears started to come and my sweet boy tried so hard to be so very tough.  His tears started too.  A little boy behind me saw Braydon losing it and ran to him and introduced himself.  Whoever that little boys mom is should be very very proud of the young man she is raising.  That little boy tried to save Braydon from being sad!!  Here is a picture of Braydon's cabin door!!  YAY!!! 

    CABIN RED 4 ROCKS!!!!!!!!
                                                                                 
    My baby is no longer a baby and hopefully making memories he will never forget!!  He is an amazingly brave little boy and I think I will forever be in awe!!  I feel like this is the best thing for him and that he will walk away counting down the days until next years camp!! 

        I wonder what he is doing?  I wonder if he is having fun?  I wonder most of all if he misses me as much as I miss him?  I really really hope he does not miss me.....I hope he is having the time of his life......but it would be nice to think he misses me a little ;)
                                                                  

    Friday, July 20, 2012

    There ain't no way you can hold onto something that wants to go, you understand? You can only love what you got while you got it

    Well Yesterday kicked off my marathon weekend of craziness which will ultimately end at 3pm Sunday dropping Braydon off at camp.

         Yesterday we spent all day at Venture River with Braydon, Claudia and 12 of my favorite LCSH kids!!  My two best friends were there and we had a BLAST!!  For the record I was technically "at work" but in my defense I learned a long time ago at LCSH you have to work hard to play hard and we work very hard!!

         Today after work we are jetting off to Atlanta.  Not jetting per say, driving is more like it!!  We have a hotel perfectly centered in between Atlanta and Camp Twin-a-lakes!! YAY!!!  We have plans to go to the Atlanta Aquarium, the World of Coke and then Lego Land.  Unfortunately Claudia has decided not to go with us.  She said she would prefer to stay and do her weapons class in karate and I admire my kids for sticking to their obligations. 


         Then on Sunday we do it.....we drop Braydon off for a full 5 nights at Camp Carpe Diem.  If you could see the excitement in his little brown eyes!! We packed the final three items last night and it was like he had hit the jackpot!!  He was so super excited!!

          I have decided to blog everyday that he is going!!  Kinda to help me though it!!  Thanks again everyone!!

    Sunday, July 15, 2012

    Nothing is predestined: The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.

         Today is a good day!  Today I feel hopeful, today I feel promising, today I feel as though we can whoop epilepsy in the butt!!  Today is a good day.

         We drop Braydon off for camp a week from today.  I'm so very excited to have him start a new memory!!  I love making memories with the kids and this seems like the perfect chance at him making his own memories.  I'm so very excited to pick him up and hear ALL his stories.  I'm having a very hard time, I'm just not ready for this.  It is not about me, it is about him and he is ready.

         http://cmd.shutterfly.com/commands/pictures/slideshow?site=2011campwithjuluis&page=2011campwithjuluis/pictures&album=8    Here are some picture from last years camp!!  Notice the picture about the brain.  I'm really really hoping he walks away with a Little more understanding of Epilepsy. 
        
          There is a bike race in Nashville on September 8th and think we are going to do it!!  I think this will be another great way to raise awareness and be a part of the the millions of people who struggle physically and emotionally with epilepsy!! 

         For More information on Epilepsy click on this link http://www.epilepsytn.org/

    Be on the look out for the Fowlers.....we will make a difference.....just you wait and see!!

    Thursday, July 12, 2012

    A wise man fights to win, but he is twice a fool who has no plan for possible defeat

         Well I am officially defeated.  I went into all of this trying my best to keep a positive attitude and trusting that epilepsy would not define who Braydon is and wants to be and I am officially defeated. 


         I am not naive and I knew deep down that I would have days, weeks, heck even months like this however I really thought I had it all under control.  I cannot get a Dr. Appt with his Dr.  It is stressing me out to the max.  I need to look in someones eyes and explain the emotional toll that this has taken on the entire family, I need someone to recognize my pain, someone to recognize that Braydon is in pain.  I need someone to bring Shawns worries and concerns to the surface so that he quits sugar coating everything in our lives right now. 

         Our June 15th appt was cancelled due to the Dr. having an emergency.  I have yet to hear back for a make up date and everyone I talk to tells me more likely than not it will be December before we see him.  I will lose my mind before then.  I am sure at the office I have been flagged the crazy mom and for once i don't care.  I call ALL the time and it gets me no where.  I either have nice people tell me they will call me back and never do or rude people who tell me I'm not going to get what i want. 

          Will these feelings and frustrations pass.....OF COURSE
           Will I get to feeling better soon........Of COURSE
           Will Braydon ever be the same........I don't know and that is what scares me..........

         SO today I am going Bowling with Braydons class and i will forget about all the craziness that is Epilepsy for the day and remember that all things will pass given the right amount of time and courage.


         On a side note it was 9 years ago today that my daddy passed away......so I am sure that is playing a part in my emotional mess today!! 


        Also to all my readers out there I have started reading a new Book Ryan P Means Rockin int he free world!   I recommend it to ALL people and here is a short video about the book.  FYI it WILL make you cry!!

    http://www.ryanpmeans.com/#!video   Enjoy!!

    Thursday, June 28, 2012

    I have found that if you love life, life will love you back

         Super pumped about taking Braydon to Carpe Diem.....his Seizure camp.  YAY!!!  I got the confirmation email a few days ago stating he should be recieving his welcome to camp packet!!  Most importantly he is SUPER pumped!! 

         After much debate we are going to leave on Friday July 20th after work so we can have ALL day Saturday in Altlanta.  I think we are going to go to the Aquarium, American Doll store and then LEGOLAND!!!  A perfect day of family fun before we have to drop B off on Sunday.  Non the less all with my BFF Chelsie!!  Who will glue me back together once B is offically dropped off for the week!! :)


         For the record the kids had a BLAST in Gatlinburg!! Everything went perfect and I could not have asked for a better few days for them.  My sister and mom were amazing  and I am so very grateful that they took them for a few days.

         Shawn and I are about to take a few days off from work and we are going to do a "staycation" with them and Im excited.  We are not really taking any real vacations this year.  life has thrown us such a curve ball we are having a hard time recouping from it.  Hopefully next year we can recover a little better!! 

      Wont be on for a few days until we are back from the staycation.....Thanks again to all my faithful readers!! 

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    You have to love your children unselfishly. That is hard. But it is the only way



         My precious cuties are about to leave for a few days to Gatlinburg with their Grandma to spend some time with their Aunt Laurie, Uncle Wayne and cousins.  I am having a much harder time than I ever thought I would with this.   My whole body is a bundle of nerves and I cant shake it.

         This is not the first time they have gone away with out me, however it is since Braydon was diagnosed.  So many thoughts are crossing my mind right now.  I know that this is not a "burden" on anyone to have him go with them however I am not naive in the fact that this is an added stress.  My wonderful sister is an AMAZING nurse and is very familiar with all his meds including his emergency meds which makes my stress seem silly, however it is still there. 

       
         Making sure he goes to bed early enough, that he is well hydrated, and not hungry seems easy enough however when there are 5 other children around and they are to busy to sleep, eat, and drink it tends to make life a little more difficult.  My other issue is he will be 5 hours away.....which in an emergency will feel like a million.  Hopefully and more likely than not there will be no emergency but I always seem to plague myself with the "what ifs" in life.  I'm a planner and some things that surprise me can really throw me for a loop. 

         My problem really boils down to control.   I, even though I don't act like a control freak, deep down I am.  I know it and it is so hard to relinquish control and I know I need to be better about it.  So how am I going to fix my nerves you may ask...Friends!!!  I have friends who are going to keep me busy!!  No matter how old, you always need friends.  Dinner Saturday night and shopping Sunday what a better way to distract yourself right?

        I was talking to the BFF Chelsie today and I asked her when I was venting all my irrational fears about this trip "What would I do if there was an emergency in Gatlinburg?  Would I just jump in the Car and drive?"  and her response was "yes WE would get in the car and go"  not you would but WE would........meant the world to me.

         Best part of all of this......Braydon has no clue I'm scared to death and is SOOOOO excited.  Which makes all my crazy tension worth every second.  Cant wait to get excited phone calls about all the cool things they did, who did what to who, and how exhausted he is.  Guess this is just preparing me for camp in a few weeks!!!


                           Until next time guys!!!!!!!!!

    Friday, June 15, 2012

    UPDATE: 6/15/2012 Summer Camp

    Nurse Palmer just called and she said Dr. Cuevas said YES.....just like I knew he would!! YAY!!!!  I emailed the camp director and let her know so he should be all set!! YAY!!!!  He gave me some restrictions to place on him over the next few weeks and some new "rules" to live by but that I can handle!!!!  Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers over this it means the WORLD!!!

    We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today

         What a rough emotionally draining day!!  We got the phone call at 8:36am that Braydon's Dr. was called away to an emergency and would not be able to keep his scheduled appt.   I cried like a baby........I was so ready to see the Dr and discuss all the things that are going on and I did not get my minute to talk. 

         So we had to call the Nurse and ask about Seizure camp, I was due to call today with an answer to let them know whether or not Braydon would be able to attend.  Braydon's nurse Palmer was an absolute saint and said to hold tight she would get me an answer.  She called back and asked that we come down and see the nurse practitioner and see if we could get her to give us a yay or nay.  She would not be able to answer my long list of questions but maybe just maybe allow us to go to Carpe Diem. 

         Braydon had an Absence Seizure in the office while the nurse was examining him and with a heavy heart the Nurse Practitioner said no.....without the consent of the Dr. she did not feel comfortable signing off on anything.  The frustrating part is I KNOW Dr. Cuevas will say yes he can go....I just know it. 

         Nurse Palmer being awesome like she always is called the Seizure camp and got us an extension until Monday, hopefully we can at least get the Dr. to say yes over the phone.  That's all we need, Palmer said she would type everything up if says yes. 


        So after waiting for forever we left the office with no answers and headed to the Zoo.  The kids had no intention on looking at animals we just played in the jungle gym.  My heart aches for B.  He has been so tough and brave through all of this and if I'm not careful he will become jaded.  He is far to young to be jaded.  He is by far the bravest person I know and I hate that the poor kid is cut off at every turn.....and he still smiles. 

         As soon as we have news I will update everyone!!  My blog has been viewed A LOT and I appreciate all the support we recieve from everyone!!

    Sunday, June 10, 2012

    Dream and give yourself permission to envision a You that you choose to be.

    Good Morning ALL!!!

         A quick shout out to the husband today!!  Happy 30th Birthday Shawn Phillip.  You are an amazing man and one of a kind.  You wow me all the time with the wonderful things you do and continue to do for our family!  I love you more than you will ever know!



         We go back to see B's neurologist on Friday.  I'm very ready to see him.  I feel as though our diagnosis was so quick (which I am grateful for) and now that I have had a little more time to digest all of it I have a million more questions.   I'm just dying to know if he will grow out of them....which is not something the Dr. will be able to tell me I know.  He does not know if he will...I just want to know. 


         To many unanswered questions with Epilepsy.  Here are some epilepsy facts some of you may have never known, some things I have learned over the past few months. 


     A seizure is a disturbance in the electrical activity of the brain. Twenty-five million Americans (1 in 10) have had, or will have, at least one seizure at some time in their lives.


  • Epilepsy primarily affects children and young adults, although anyone can get epilepsy at anytime. 20% of cases develop before the age of five, and 50% develop before the age of 25. However, epilepsy is also increasingly associated with the elderly, and there are as many cases in those 60 years of age and older as in children 10 years of age and under.
  • Heredity usually is not a direct factor in epilepsy. But some kinds of brain wave patterns associated with seizures do tend to run in families.

  • Tonic-clonic ("grand mal") seizure - This seizure occurs when there is a massive discharge of neurons on both cerebral hemispheres. The body becomes rigid and there is also jerking of the body. "Tonic-clonic" means "stiffness-violent." "Grand mal" means "great sickness."

    
    Absence ("petit mal") seizure - This seizure is nonconvulsive. However, a person may become unaware of his or her surroundings and may stare off in space or freeze. This seizure lasts only 5-30 seconds.

    Many famous classical writers had epilepsy, including Sir Walter Scott, Edgar Allen Poe, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lewis Carroll and Charles Dickens--to name only a few


         Well I am off to celebrate the Birthday....sorry so short but to be honest I'm ready for Friday and don't have much else to say!! 

    Carpe Diem everyone!!



    

    Sunday, June 3, 2012

    Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts

    Good Morning everyone!!!



         Summer is in full swing at the Fowler household!!  Trying to enjoy every moment of everyday!!  Hope all my friends out there are doing the same.  It looks like today is going to BEAUTIFUL and I am super excited about it. 

          A quick update on Braydon-  They uped his meds again after the very obvious absence seizure last Friday.  We are now taking 875mg twice a day.  Earlier this week he got very very dizzy and fell down a few stairs hitting his head on a chair behind him.  Very SCARY!!  However he had a GREAT week at LCSH and had lots of fun.  Glad we have a summer to work through this, not sure we could have handled any more pressures of school until we get all of this a little more under control. 


         Life is resuming around the Fowler house.  Thankfully.  We are trying hard to not let all of life's changes bring us down.  I hope all of you do the same!!  Change is hard and any little change can set you off.  I have gotten much better over all these years with change but I am still not 100% at it!!LOL!! 


          Everyone get out of the house today and do something outdoors.....looks like it will be amazing!!

    Monday, May 28, 2012

    The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

    Happy Memorial Day Everyone

         Just wanted to give a special shout out to those who have fought for this country, those who are continuing to fight for our country and those that have lost the battle.   A lot of very special men in my life have fought for this country, some have passed other are still alive.  Thank you so very much for all you do for me and my family.


         




         The house is so very quiet right now!!  I forgot to turn off my alarm last night before I went to bed.  It is automatically set to start on Monday's so it woke me up!!  Oh well, at least I already have dinner in the crock pot and can start on breakfast.  Trying to decide how to spend the day today!!  Poolside?  Waterpark? Zoo?  Too many options!!  Went to see MIB III, it was awesome and B and C were SOOOOO excited to see it!!  Got to hang out my with one of my favorite families the Barrett Babes!! 


         Friday we went to a Nashville Sounds game.  It was so much fun and very affordable for a family.  At the end they had an amazing fireworks show and let the kids run the bases.  The kids thought that it was the best thing since sliced bread. 


         Absence seizures....UGH!!  So when Braydon was diagnosed with epilepsy the Dr.  had a strong suspicion that he has had absence seizures that have gone unnoticed the majority of his life.  Well to be very honest with you I believed him.  We have been told by so many teachers that he zones and they thought he was ADD and that he couldn't pay attention.  Well when the Dr says this it all makes a little sense.  However I had never actually seen it, so maybe just maybe these people were all a little crazy and there were no signs of these Absence seizures. 


         UGH....NOPE they were right.  Driving to Nashville for the baseball game he sure as heck had one.  Claudia had fallen asleep and Braydon had gotten very quiet.  So I look back and he is sitting straight up, head was limp (it almost was falling backwards), his eyes were WIDE open and it was like he was looking through whatever he was looking at, he was making a strange sound (almost like a muffled whine, I had to turn down the radio to hear it) and was drooling.  I started to scream his name and he shot up like a rocket and starts screaming at me like a lunatic.  Said " Why are you screaming at me, I was starring out the window!"  he had NO recollection of the event.  NONE!!  From what i have read this "episode" might have been a little of an extreme one.  Most absence seizures will go unnoticed. 


         How much of his life will he loose as a result of Epilepsy!  It is a scary thought to me that he just misses seconds of his life.  I know once we get all the meds figured out the likely hood of all this will be slim and I am so ready for that day.  We go back to the Dr June 15th, I think we are going to need to do a sleep study that we have been avoiding  like the plague!! 


         But all in all he had an amazing first week of summer!!  We kicked it off with a Baseball game, swimming on Saturday, Movies on Sunday and today who knows..................

    Until next time everyone!!!!!!

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

         It must be a rough week if I am blogging in the middle of it right?  It actually has not been a rough week I just am having a wee bit of a pity party and would like to share it with everyone.  Every week cant be amazing....unfortunately!!

         I got a call from Carpe Diem yesterday.  That is the seizure camp for children.  The one that Braydon is supposed to attend in July......Well they are not sure if they are going to allow him to come.  The Board of Medical Doctors reviewed his case and they are not sure if this summer would be a good year for him.  They are concerned about the severity of the seizures, the frequency of the seizures, and being so newly diagnosed.  I have decided to not tell Braydon until we know for sure.  All he has talked about is summer camp.

          We actually decided to send him to summer camp this year before the Epilepsy.  He has been begging for years now and dad and I decided in December this would be the year.  So we started to do our research.  I wanted him to go to space camp in Huntsville and dad said OH NO to far away.  SO we started to look and then Epilepsy came into play.  Thanks to a great friend I got the idea to find him a camp that would remind him that he is a normal kid.  Finding a camp was not easy.  Epilepsy was not a word I heard a lot until Braydon was diagnosed and we still have not met any other children like him.  I know they are out there but none that I know of.

         So what better way to shed some light on his Epilepsy than sending him to summer camp for a week with children just like him.  It is super cheap, Doctors who specialize in his seizures, nurses and a staff that have dealt with seizures multiple times.  SCORE!!!   So we sent all of our paperwork in and ready to get our starting packet.  This took some convincing of Dad, the Camp is in Georgia!!  He was not OK with it.  But I explained how important this was to our family.  Not just Braydon, we all needed him to be happy if only for that week.  This medicine has made him a wee bit moody and we have a hard time finding Happy Braydon sometimes.  So dad agreed!!

         Now we have to wait and see if Braydon's neurologist agrees with us.  He has next appt in a few weeks and we have to convince him that this is in Braydons best interest.  I really hope that he agrees.  I cant look at that poor kid and tell him yet again he cant do something as a result of Epilepsy.  How hard would it be for him to understand that the Epilepsy camp wont take him.........


         Again like I said a bit of a pity party this am....but feeling better already!!  Just getting my feelings out there makes biggest difference!!  Thanks for all the support from everyone!!  It makes this so much easier!!

    Saturday, May 19, 2012

    Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail

    Good Morning Everyone!!  It has been a while since my last post.  Life has kept the Fowlers Busy!!  Today I got up before everyone else so I have a few minutes to catch you up on the past two weeks!!


        The week before last was field day!!  Wow did Braydon have fun.  It was hot so we only let him participate in half of the day but he really enjoyed it.  When we got in the car to leave he said he felt normal for the day.  It has been a very long time since he felt normal and that warmed my heart.  Here are a few pictures from the day!!



        So as you can see field day was a success!!


         Claudia had some exciting news the other day as well!!  She was the proud owner of four baby ducklings for the night!!  She amazes me so very much.  She is in 2nd grade and since she was in pre-k she has told me she wants to be a vet when she grows up.  I truly believe she will be.  It is amazing!!  She loves animals so very much.  So they hatched baby ducklings in her room and her teacher allowed us to take them home for a night.  WOW we had so much fun!!  Here are some pics from that!!




    Such a proud little duck mommy!!

         This past week has been very busy at work so nothing fun on the home front to talk about there.  Mothers day was a good day.  The husband got me a very very cheap and very very thoughtful present and I appreciate it so very much.  Money is very tight for the Fowlers but the fact that he thought of something so sweet makes me feel very loved!!  :)

         Braydon has been talking about joining the army a lot lately.  He seems very interested in it.  However he recently changed to the air force.  He wants to fly plans.  I have not had the heart to tell him that will more likely than not never happen.  It is so hard to hear your child strive for a dream, give his sister flying lessons, pretend the car is a plane he is flying when we get in it, and know that it will only ever be a dream. 

         Guess I am going to go get ready for yet another busy weekend!!



    Sunday, May 6, 2012

    A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person

         I have spent a lot of time focusing on Braydon and the kids in this blog, so today I will focus on Shawn and I.  Those that are close to us know most of our stories, however I am captivating a new audience with my blog so I thought I would tell old stories this week, particularly about the man I fall in love with almost every single day.  I said almost.....Im not that blinded by love there are some days I'm ready to kill him!!!!

         It is the summer of 1999 and I was being forced to get a job.  I had failed a few classes in high school mostly for doing things I shouldn't like skipping school every chance I got and they were allowing me a work study program that would allow me to make up those classes.  SO the first place I walk into they offer me an interview without filling out the application and after the interview asked me to be there at 3 the next day.  WOW....was I that cute or were they that desperate?  Let's go with cute getting a big head is never my thing!!  I was now a green shirt, khaki pants, and visor wearing subway employee....YAY <--------enter sarcasm, in high school that uniform did NOTHING for me!  It was horrible!! 

         SO on my first day of work I go in scared to death.  I walk into a very skinny boy on the back of a girl.  I was ready to puke when the girl looked at me and said " Hi I'm Kim I work here too and this is MY boyfriend Shawn".   Shawn then looks at me and says he will be training me tonight and all I can think is OH LORD.  I will tell you though it was NOT love at first sight.  Not sure if the fact that his girlfriend also worked with us was part of that or what but I had no immediate feelings.  His girlfriend leaves and I realize there is another employee there, Johnathan.  Johnathan was also a new employee and Shawn was being stuck training 2 brand new employees on a Friday night our busiest nights!!

         Needless to say Shawn was a little annoyed and had very little patience in the training department.  He kept sending me in the back to get things and of course I had no idea where it was.  The night went on forever and I had noticed that Johnathan a time or two would follow me into the back and intentionally trap me in awkward positions.  One time I almost had to climb over the ice machine to get away from him.  So it was raining when it was time to leave and Johnathan tells me his mom hates to drive in the rain, could I take him home and of course I say yes.  We get in his drive way, he tells me he saw how I was looking at him all night and pushes me against the driver door and attempts to stick his hand down my shirt.  I called him a few choice words advised him to get his hand out of my shirt and told him to get out of my car.  WORSE first day EVER!!!!!!!

        I cried the whole way home and begged my dad to quit and he said only if you can still graduate without the job and I couldn't so I didn't quit.  The weeks flew by and Shawn and I became really good friends.  I loved working with him, he always made me laugh.  One day his mom came in and she though Shawn was working and he wasn't and we were NOT busy and she asked if I wanted to eat with her.  So I made our subs and sat down.  She asked me if I thought Kim was right for Shawn and before I could think twice about it I told her "No, I'm going to marry him someday".  I could not believe I had said that she probably thought I was a LONEY TOON!!!  Not long after that Shawn and Kim broke up and that begins our "love story".

         I can remember one night late at night swimming in the pool with my step mother.  She was asking if I "liked" anyone and I said Shawn.  He was UNLIKE any other boy I had wanted to date and to be honest very dorky!!  But I just liked him, nothing could explain why or what made him so attractive to me.  So we continue to work together and I notice he seems more and more annoyed with me.  Putting his hand on my back and kinda pushing me out of the way while we were working together, I was getting very very annoyed.  I spent weekends that I was not working with my mom.  SO one weekend he kept sending me pages (yes this is when beepers were cool).  Well I didn't call him back he was being funny around me and I didn't care to talk to him.  That next week at work he kept asking why I didn't call him back and I told him I was busy.  I had a date while I was ignoring his phone calls and I told him I went out with someone.  Let the 20 questions begin......

         "what is his name?  Why do you like him?  When are you going out again?"  OMG it hits me He likes me....SCORE!!!!  SO the following weekend I get someone to cover my shift and I plan to go out of town with my Dad.  We were going to go camping, he loved to camp.  The boy I was dating at the time won me a fish at the county fair and I asked Shawn if he would "fish sit" while I was camping.  He said yes I and got him the fish on Thursday and on Friday I woke up with a fever and a horrible cough.  I had an upper respiratory infection.  We did not go out of town and spent the next two days half dead on the couch.  Sunday morning I called him to tell him I never went of town I was sick and asked him if he could bring me the fish.  He had killed my fish.............    He says that the fish choked on a rock........  not really sure how the fish died but convenient that it was a present from another boy and now it was dead!LOL!!
          He started to panic when he heard how upset I was.   He asked if he could come and pick me up and take me to buy me a new one.  I asked my dad who was not all that thrilled because I had been so sick but after a little begging he agreed.  A little while later he picks me up and we go to a pet store.  I pick out a beautiful Betta fish and we go home.  We get it home he walks me in and goes to leave and just walks right out the door.  No hug, no kiss, NOTHING!!  I follow him to the car and we talk, after a few minutes he says he has to go so I pinned him against the car and kissed him.  If he was not going to make the first move I was!!!!!

          We went out a few times after that but we were not "boyfriend Girlfriend" and I wanted to be so I asked him if we were "exclusive" and his answer was " I think we should keep our options open".  Talk about ready to kill someone, I thought I was going to punch him square in the nose.  So I started dating other people that was much better than physical violence!!:P  One night while he was working and I was off, one of my dates and I stopped in Subway for dinner.  I realize that was a shady move but hey it worked!!  He pulled me to the side asked me why I was on a date now we were supposed to be going out after he got off work and I calmly said "I'm keeping my options open".  Needless to say he shut down ALL options!!!LOL!! 

          For the record I killed the fish Shawn bought me to replace the one that he killed!!  We have never done things the "right" way but we continue to do things our way.  I love him and I hope that we continue to make memories......I could write a book with all our memories now!!